Grown Woman Chronicles: Apparently I Have to Cook

mgid-uma-image-vh1Adulting is for the birds. No really, it’s for the birds. They can take it, fly far far away, bury it in that Bald Eagle’s nest from The Rescuers Down Under, or maybe regift it to Candy Carson. Why? No particular reason, I just think she needs something nice every now and then. Wherever they take it, just get it the heck away from me.

*Emerges from feelings*

Ok, being grown isn’t that terrible. In fact, on most days, like when my income tax refund hits my bank account, or I remember I can miss a Sunday of church without asking anyone’s permission, it’s pretty doable.

As I grow settled into grown womanhood, there’s still one thing I have yet to master to rest me comfortably in adulthood. Career? I’m cool. Love? Whatever. Children? No time or patience for that. Finances? What’s an IRA account again? While I’m still cracking the code on the aforementioned, for the purposes of this article, let’s just say; I’m good in most of the major life categories.

What I’m not good on (and could care less that I’m not), is cooking. Yeah cooking. Per one too many church mothers and s**t talkers, apparently this is a critical prerequisite to receiving my full-fledged grown woman credentials. Baked, fried, broiled, shaken and/or stirred, the ish is not for me. After years of making baked chicken and veggies (my official post-college go to), I’ve come to the conclusion that lightly seasoned chicken breasts, frozen broccoli florets and microwavable oatmeal can’t sustain me for a lifetime. Well, technically they could but my taste buds deserve better. If only my patience, recipe comprehension and non-stick-but-always-sticks-when-I-use-them, baking sheets could get in formation. *sigh* Life is rough guys. $50 to the first person who finds me a live-in Big Mama with baked macaroni (slightly burnt in the corners) forever on deck.

Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly enjoy a home cooked meal — I just don’t want to make it. My man, my momma, your momma; no preference on the preparers, (unless it’s potato salad) as long as it’s not me.

Why do I loathe the art of cooking so much? I’m not really sure. No traumatic stories of stovetops gone wrong or burn scenes from my childhood. When I think about it, it boils down to a few factors:

  1. It takes too long. In the time it takes to buy grocery, meal prep, cook, wait, eat, clean, I could have washed, conditioned, twisted and styled my ‘fro. Carryout or a bae who delivers is so much more time friendly.
  1. After smells. Speaking of hair, I shouldn’t have to Febreeze my mane after every meal. No matter if it’s fish, pancakes or boiled water, the smell of the meal before has a tendency to cling to my curls like those wretched Versace pants on Cam Newton’s ankles.
  1. Clean up. It’s when I hit this stage that I realize it was never really worth it. I’ve Google’d my recipe, bought all 50 ingredients and arranged them like a Pinterest board, slaved over a hot stove, eaten all my hard work in a matter of minutes and now I have to clean this stuff up?

I swear the hater in me really wants to find that b**ch Betty Crocker and stomp the mess out of her, for general purposes. But that wouldn’t be right, and I’d really like to chill in Heaven one day (no time soon JC), so I’ve been forced to find alternative solutions to my cooking aversion.

To help the next girl out there who favors life in front of a microwave, here are a few quick, low-calorie, foolproof recipes that should get you through the workweek. All are tried and tested by myself and surprisingly I didn’t die, curse, side eye or call my momma for help while making these.

Oh, and if you’re short on time like myself, I’d recommend joining the meal prep game. Go Tupperware shopping, ration out your portions and make enough for the week. I’m a witness that this grab ‘n go lifestyle can work wonders on your schedule and waistline.

Turkey Chili

Not my pic, but pretty close

Not my pic, but pretty close

What You Need:

  • Chili beans
  • Chili powder
  • 2 cans of Bush’s Chili Beans
  • 2 – 3 cans of diced tomatoes
  • Veggies of choice (I prefer just onion but I’ve heard celery, carrots and things of the sort work here as well)

What to Do:

  1. Brown your turkey meat or meat of choice
  2. Combine beans, tomatoes, meat, veggies and chili powder in your favorite winter pot, and season to taste
  3. Bring contents to a boil
  4. Reduce to medium heat, wait about 20-minutes and chow down

Chicken Stir Fry

Ok, this is one I really made.

Ok, this is one I really made.

What You Need:

  • 3 – 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • Frozen vegetable stir fry mix (if you’re feeling fancy, fresh produce is great here too)
  • Olive oil
  • 1-pack Stir fry mix
  • 1 box of brown rice (#BlackLivesStillMatter so I use Uncle Ben’s brown rice)

What to Do:

  1. Cook your chicken (I use this super quick, super easy stovetop method)
  2. In a separate pan, cook your vegetables on medium heat with 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  3. Prepare your stir fry mix
  4. Combine chicken, vegetables and sauce, and mix until the sauce has thickened
  5. Serve over a bed of rice and voila!

Crockpot BBQ Pulled Chicken

crockpot-pulled-chicken-recipe

What You Need

  • 3 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

What to Do:

  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker
  2. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce and pour over the chicken
  3. Cover and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low
  4. Side Note: I usually eat with a side of veggies or a side salad

Spinach and Chicken Bowl

What You Need:

  • 1 – 2 bags of fresh spinach
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 -2 skinless chicken breast

What to Do:

  1. Cook chicken. Remember that stovetop method I talked about?
  2. In a separate pan heat stove to medium heat, add olive oil, spinach and onions
  3. Let these get to know each other for a few minutes until the spinach cooks down
  4. Add chicken, season to taste and you’re done!

Other time friendly recipes I favor include tacos, quesadillas, salad and chicken Alfredo.

Weigh in, and let us know your favorite low maintenance recipe!

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